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In this issue:
GLAST: The Challenge of Too Much New Data
Dorfan Today: SPEAR3
Workers' Comp Medical Treatment Update
Safety Firsts

SLAC Today

Monday - May 21, 2007

GLAST: The Challenge of Too Much New Data

(Logo - GLAST)

The astrophysics community enthusiastically awaits the upcoming launch of the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST), the latest and most powerful gamma-ray telescope. But interpreting the huge amount of new data that GLAST will collect may prove difficult.

Until now, existing instruments have allowed astrophysicists to detect about 300 possible sources of gamma-rays in the universe, and scientists have had to analyze and classify these sources one by one. But GLAST's increased sensitivity, 30 to 100 times greater than that of its predecessors, will allow the telescope to potentially detect thousands of new sources of gamma rays.

"We'll have a hard time identifying them," says Stanford Physicist Olaf Reimer. "We can't apply the individual approach for thousands of sources anymore. Researchers took 20 years to identify Geminga, the radio-quiet gamma ray pulsar, but we cannot spend 20 years on a single source again." He says there is simply not enough time or resources to study each possible gamma-ray origin.  Read more...

(Director's Column - Dorfan Today)

The SPEAR3 synchrotron storage ring at SSRL, now well into its third year of operation, is a world-class lightsource by any measure. Each year nearly two thousand users take advantage of the experimental facilities at SSRL, resulting in an average of more than 400 scientific papers annually. Improvements and upgrades continue to expand the operational capabilities of SPEAR3, as we have seen most recently at the dedication of Beamline 12, the Molecular Observatory for Structural Molecular Biology.

This exciting evolution continues with the recent commissioning of a new experimental station currently at Beamline 5-2, which received its first users this past April. This unique facility offers users a range of experimental capabilities for probing the structure and dynamics of materials at the nanoscale. "Nano" objects have a length scale which is one-billionth of a meter or roughly a ten-thousandth of the thickness of human hair.

Two principal techniques available at the new beamline that take advantage of SPEAR3's exceptional brightness are x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy and "lensless imaging." Neither would have been possible with the earlier generation SPEAR2. Beamline 5-2 uses a very special magnet—called an elliptically polarizing undulator—to convert the stored electrons to soft x-rays. Special properties of the magnetic optics downstream of the undulator cause these soft x-rays to become "coherent."

Safety Firsts

As a tourist, if you go to Hawaii and watch local people go out to sea in small boats for either pleasure or commercial fishing, you may notice a hazard mitigation device on just about every boat that is quite surprising—surprising not only because of its prevalence (it seems that it must be required by law) but also because of its obvious great expense. (This is neither a cell phone nor radar).

Workers' Comp Medical Treatment Update

During business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), an employee who experiences a work-related accident, injury, illness, or exposure must immediately report the incident to his or her supervisor and then go to the SLAC Medical Department, located in room 137 of the A&E Building (Building 41). SLAC's Medical staff will then treat the employee or send him or her to one of four places:

Alliance Occupational Medicine (2 locations)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

2737 Walsh Avenue
Santa Clara, CA 95051
(408) 228-8400

315 S. Abbott Avenue
Milpitas, CA 95035
(408) 790-2900

Workforce Medical
Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

201 Arch Street
Redwood City, CA 94062
(650) 556-9420

The Employee's Personal Physician
This applies only if the employee has completed the Physician Pre-Designation form. (Note: Every employee has a right to pre-designate his or her personal physician for treatment of a work-related injury, but the form must be completed and on file before the injury. It cannot be completed after the injury occurs.)

If the incident occurs on the job during non-business hours (4:30 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.), the employee should go to:

Stanford Hospital Emergency Room
Hours: Open 24 hours

300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305

If symptoms occur at night from an injury that happened at work, and for which the employee did not seek medical treatment, emergency medical treatment may be obtained wherever necessary (e.g., near home, etc.). However, when the emergency is over, the employee may not continue treatment with his or her own doctor unless the doctor was pre-designated. Instead, the employee must report the injury to SLAC's Medical Department as soon as possible and see one of SLAC's preferred providers (see above list). If the injury does not require emergency treatment, the employee must notify his or her supervisor when he or she returns to work and go to SLAC's Medical Department to report the injury.

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